2 Minute Drill: The 2 Minutes that can Transform Your Marriage

Just like the 2 minute drill in football- sometimes 2 minutes can make all the difference. If you invest 2 minutes- twice a day…just 2 minutes…I guarantee you will see a difference in your home.

This one is too easy- so don’t you dare pass it up.

My area of specialty is working with men and marriages affected by pornography. Today’s lesson is an inoculation- consider this a flu shot. 100% prevention.

A strong bond with your wife and family is one of the best ways to protect yourself from being lured into the jungle by porn and lust.

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The four minutes a day you are about to learn about will pay off like nothing else- like buying the winning lottery ticket.

Do I have your attention yet? Good- I dare you to try this secret recipe for 3 days as an experiment. Be sure to leave your feedback in the comments section after three days.

Here we go:

The First 2 Minutes: Pay very close attention to the last two minutes before you and your wife part ways in the morning. These last moments together set the course for how you will feel and think about each other throughout the day. It sets the tone.

Do you leave in a frustrated rush? Are you spewing information to each other on the way out the door? Do you even say goodbye to each other?

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Sometimes life gets crazy and we all do these things.

Be intentional about slowing down and tuning in during these last 2 minutes. Make eye contact, hug her, tell her that you love her. No really, tell your wife that you love her and will miss her during the day.

This is different from the “love you” on your way out the door.
Bonus points for physical touch. Not getting frisky. Caring touch that lets your wife know you like her.

Kiss your wife- more than a peck on the lips or cheek on the way out. Aim for a 5 second kiss. Again- nothing sexual here.

When you hug your wife and kiss her for about 5 seconds your nervous systems begin to sync up, and both of you relax. You remember how much you like being together.

Feeling connected with your wife makes you both look forward to reconnecting in the evening. You miss each other. If you have any plans to be intimate that night- make sure you connect well in the morning.

2 minutes in the morning: listen to your wife, ask about what she has in store for the day, ask how you can pray for her, hold her and kiss her for 5 seconds. This isn’t mission impossible- you can do it.
You are half way there!
The Second 2 Minutes: Tune in to the first 2 minutes when you come home or when you and your wife come back together. The first 2 minutes are CRITICAL!!!

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Both of you have probably had stressful days and are coasting in on fumes. It is vital to nail the first 2 minutes when you get home. Do everything within your power to get this one.

These first 2 minutes set the tone for how the rest of the evening will go. Fuss at each other and it is hard to recover. Get lost in the busyness of life, and you hit the bed feeling alone and exhausted.

These 2 minutes are all about reconnecting as a husband and wife that like and love each other. Hug and kiss for 5 seconds. Make eye contact. Let her know that you missed her. Tell her that you love her. Listen to her. Help with what she is doing.

For bonus points- do the same thing with the kids (no kissing of course). Don’t jump into drill sergeant mode and bark orders. Connect with them and things will go much smoother with your kids that evening as well.

Many wives have told me that seeing their husband connecting with their kids is a major turn on. Momma bear melts when you love on her cubs.

When a husband that I met with tried this experiment- he was amazed. His wife was amazed.

After coming through the door giving out orders and pushing the kids to get on track- he started spending the first few minutes reconnecting with his wife and his children. Everything went a thousand times better.

 

The kids were better behaved, and did what he asked with much pushback. His wife was relieved and her heart was full.

He became the hero instead of the villain.

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So there it is- 2 Critical Minutes that can transform your marriage. The last 2 minutes before you leave, and the first 2 minutes when you come home.

Take the 2 Minute Challenge and leave your feedback in the comments section.

I can’t wait to hear your results!

3 Reasons we give in to temptation- and how to override them.

Confessions from men who look at porn:

Ken looked possessed as he spoke, “the women I video chat with, they always think I’m awesome. They all tell me how sexy I am- how they wish they could be here with me right now”. “In that moment- everything is right in the world – I am a stud”.

Larry has a different story. “I come dragging in after work- I’m spent. Sales is a cut-throat business and I’ve been slaying dragons all day long”. “As soon as I hit the door my wife is on me about bills, the kids need help with homework…it is too much.”

“I am already thinking about sitting down at that computer. If I can just get there I can escape for a while.”

Greg has been looking at porn so often and for so long that he doesn’t feel much of anything. After trying and failing to stop looking at pornography so many times, Greg accepts that this is part of his life.

Too many secrets, too much shame. The hole feels too deep to climb out of.

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Greg looks at porn throughout the day- not because he likes it or because it makes him feel good. It simply helps him stay numb.

Every day I hear these kinds of stories from the guys I work with. Different reasons, different routes, the same destination.

Pornography draws its power from the vulnerability it taps into. Your emotional vulnerabilities, which are tied in to your sense of identity and worth, are open doors for this particular pitfall.

Porn seduces you into thinking it is a healing salve for your fears and wounds instead of the caustic acid that it is.

3 Ways Pornography Seduces You:

1. It makes you feel important, smart, strong, and special. Feel like a failure at work or home- the woman on the screen is lusting after you. Her eyes are longing for you. You are all that matters- her world revolves around you and making you feel good.

The fantasy is deeply enticing.

Brene Brown’s research on shame reveals that the two main sources of shame for
men are: 1. appearing weak 2. failure. Neither of these exist in the land of porn
where you are the star.

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2. Escape from Reality. When you are flat out stressed and overwhelmed and need
to find a way to hit the off switch- pornography can become your best friend (no
benefits though).

The biological cocktail and neurological circuitry involved ensure that you will be
disconnected from stress, from all reality, while you are looking at pornography.

This ends up being a common tool, and therefore problem, with soldiers and police
officers. They are trained to be “on” all the time and work in threatening
environments so they are always ready for a fight. Porn is a powerful off-switch.

When your hair feels like it is on fire, or you are drowning beneath the weight of life,
porn calls your name and offers an alluring escape. Be sure to read the fine print-
the shame hangover is a killer.

3. Staying Numb: This is more than a momentary escape from reality. This is a way of
life. Like an alcoholic that nurses a buzz throughout the day- you don’t feel normal
unless you are under the influence. Life feels unbearable when you are stuck in
reality.

After being detached for so long, the buzz from lust feels normal and normal feels
intolerable.

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Jesus was tempted in some pretty similar ways in the desert. After not eating for 40 days Satan showed up. Not on his best day, but when Jesus was hungry, lonely, and tired.

First, the devil tries to get Jesus to turn rocks into bread. To alleviate his current physical and emotional pain in a way that seems “harmless”. Sound familiar?

The second attempt offered power and glory. “Bow to me, and I will give you all of these kingdoms”. Of course Jesus would be a slave to the devil (always read the fine print).

Finally, the enemy attacked Jesus sense of identity. “If you REALLY are the Son of God, jump the angels will catch you”. Fortunately Jesus didn’t wrestle with His sense of worth and value.

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HOW TO OVERRIDE PORN’S SEDUCTION:

First and foremost- GET CONNECTED!!! Do not try to do it on your own.

Isolation will kill your resolve. Telling someone else that you are struggling with
temptation actually helps kill a lot of the power from being tempted.

Jessus didn’t try to rationalize or argue with the thoughts that were tempting Him.
Connect with the Lord and/or someone else. Tell them specifically what are thinking
and feeling.

This releases an opiate in the brain called Oxytocin. This chemical is your friend.

Second: Spend time with Godly people when you are not being tempted. People that
will love and accept you, as well as speak the truth in Love.

Celebrate Recovery is a great place to start.

Third: Ground yourself in the truth of who Christ says you are. Not just theology- really wrestle with what you feel (male alert: the word “feeling” has been used). This is not making you weak, but identifying what you really believe at a core level.

Clarify these feelings/beliefs by writing them down and sharing them with others. Then dig in to what God’s word says about you.

I highly recommend the book The Ragamuffin Gosepel by Brennan Manning. He was everything from a Franciscan Priest, to a drunk on the streets of Miami. It is life-changing.

 

It’s not fair! He is relieved to be caught, , her hair is on fire.

“It’s not fair!!!” Cheryl seethes while gasping for air as tears run down her cheeks.

“I know…I know” Ben says with a sheepish shrug of the shoulders…obviously moved by his her pain.

I can’t count how many times something like this has played out in my office as I work with couples. Shakespeare couldn’t write a better tragedy.

So what is going on here? Let’s rewind the tape and see what happened.

Ben has been looking at pornography on and off for years. Always paranoid of getting caught, Cheryl detects an emotional distance that she can’t understand. He is tired of covering his tracks, looking over his shoulder, and keeping up with all of the “little white lies” along the way.

The Day of Reckoning finally arrived. Cheryl caught him red handed (walking in on him, kids found out, found porn in the history,…you get the idea).

In that moment- both of their worlds turn upside down. Now, Ben is relieved to not be worried and paranoid all of the time. He can breathe- the secret is out.

Cheryl is horrified. Now she is paranoid- always wondering if he has been looking at pornography, always wondering if he is telling the truth. She can’t breathe- everything feels like Ben is keeping a secret.

There is nothing fair about it. Cheryl vacillates between being angry at Ben and pushing him away, and desperately needing Ben to draw close and reassure her. At times Cheryl feels like she is losing her mind.

Ben feels relieved that he doesn’t have to hide. Convinced that he has learned his lesson, Ben firmly believes that he is through looking at porn. When Cheryl incessantly accuses him of lying or looking at pornography he is incredulous.

“How can she doubt my sincerity!?!”, “If she is going to keep accusing me I may as well go back to looking at porn”. It is hard for Ben to truly grasp how devastating this is for Cheryl.

I call this “being out of sync”. He is relieved and she is terrified. Then, she needs reassurance while he is offended and withdrawn. It can get pretty miserable.

Both Ben and Cheryl are confused and exhausted.

If you find yourself in this situation- be assured that there is hope. A bomb has gone off and the shock waves need time to calm down.

I tell my clients to “ride the bronco”. Keep hanging on and go through this time. It may feel like you will be flung around forever but you won’t.

Riding the bronco means that you keep fighting to stay connected, or reconnect, with your spouse. This process can be pretty exhausting, so don’t attempt it alone.

Both of you need friends that will walk with you through the crisis. Talk to your friends when it doesn’t feel safe to talk to your spouse.

Tell the Lord everything you would want to tell your spouse. You heard me- make your case to the Lord. Don’t leave anything out. Tell Him how unfair it is…how angry you are…how hurt you are…how confused you are. He can take it.

In fact, before you say anything to your spouse say it to the Lord first. Don’t clean it up. Tell Him exactly what you want to tell them. (I dare you!)

First, He already knows you are thinking it. Second, you will be amazed at how it will calm you. Third, you didn’t just pour gasoline on an already raging bonfire.

It isn’t fair- that is true beyond the shadow of a doubt.

However, it is one of the first steps towards healing.

Plausible Deniability: When you back your way into what you really wanted to do.

Do you like surprises?

Do you love a good plot twist in a movie? Or the suspense of not knowing what will happen next in a thriller?

I love surprises. I love the adventure of not knowing what will happen next- I feel alive. One of my favorite dates with my wife was when she surprised me by picking me up after work on a Friday and taking me to a movie I was looking forward to seeing.

The surprise was as much of a thrill for me as going to the movie, especially since we had young children at the time.

Surprise. Thrill. Adventure. These have a powerful impact on your brain. They release dopamine- the “gotta have it” drug.

As I talk with guys every week in my office about how to break free from pornography, I started to recognize a pattern I call “fishing”.

Fishing is different than out right looking for pornography. Fishing is when you visit the news or sports website that typically has provocative pictures on the right hand column.

You don’t know if anything explicit will be there. It isn’t porn. You know there is a good chance you will see some skin without “crossing the line” of looking at porn.

Fishing allows you to “back in” to looking and lusting after women. It provides “plausible deniability”, just like in they do in action flicks and spy movies.

“I was just going to read about the news or sports. My intention wasn’t to look for anything lustful, after all it is just FoxNews, ESPN, Sports Illustrated”….. (these are the ones that come up in my office).

Lo and behold- there is a picture of something sexually provocative- not porn, but provocative. “Oops, how did that get here”. Simply seeing the image gets the juices flowing. The snowball of sexual arousal has been set in motion.

One click on that image, leads to more explicit images, and pretty soon you are in full fledged pornography again.

After binging, you look up and think “how did that happen? I just went to read a news story or check the scores”.

Let’s be honest- most of the time you knew what you were doing when you went to those sites in the first place. You knew there was a good chance you would see something interesting.

Like fish beneath a bass boat, you encountered the bait. You knew it would be there, and you bit.

Fishing allows you to end up where you wanted to go without taking full responsibility for how you got there. The porn industry knows how this works and they are good at putting some pretty enticing hooks in the water.

The same thing applies to watching certain T.V. shows, movies, channels, etc. Intuitively, your mind knows where to go to get a fix while avoiding the guilt of intentionally seeking out the forbidden fruit.

Jer. 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful above all things…”. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun.

In behavioral terms we call this random reinforcement. It is the most powerful form of reinforcement.

If you go to a true porn site- you know beyond the shadow of a doubt what you are going to find. There is not much of surprise (which is why you end up looking for more shocking images and videos).

Random reinforcement is essentially gambling. The not knowing, the hoping to find something, sometimes finding something amazing and other times finding nothing- these make it more powerful.

It taps into the power of anticipation. The process becomes as exciting as the result. It heightens the intensity of finally finding something to lust after.

Las Vegas is built on the foundation of Random Reinforcement.

King David experienced the effects of fishing himself- and his kingdom was never the same.

King David was supposed to be on the battlefront with his armies, which was customary for kings in that day. David decided to stay home.

Nothing seemed interesting, so he walked around the top of his castle looking at the city. Essentially, he was surfing the net aimlessly.

Lo and behold- he found something pretty darn interesting when he saw Bathsheba bathing in a tub on the roof of her house. To be fair, this should have been a safe spot for her to bathe. It would have been if David were with the troops.

King David drinks in the sight of her bathing, heightened by the fact that she does not know he is gawking (danger heightens the experience). He wasn’t expecting to find this beauty- so the surprise of it all makes it even more stimulating.
David was so affected by seeing Bathsheba (the wife of one of his trusted officers), that he used his royal authority to make her have sex with him. When they realized that Bathsheba was pregnant David made sure that her husband was killed in battle.

The power of fishing. It will take you further and faster into destruction than you ever thought possible.

The next time you find yourself tempted to go fishing (you know what those spots are for you), think about King David on the rooftop.

David lost the baby, and lost the kingdom (he regained the throne but the kingdom was divided). It wasn’t worth it.

When you are toying with the idea of checking out one of these spots that you know you might find something- the best thing you can do is explicitly tell the Lord AND tell someone else.

It is amazing- simply acknowledging the thought or temptation clearly and directly to someone outside of your own head often takes the power out of the urge to fish.

So often it really is that simple.

Even if you have been able to visit these sites and resist temptation- that does not mean you are safe. It simply means you were able to avoid danger this time.

Fish that nibble on a worm feel safe. The truth is that they narrowly avoided disaster.

The next time you feel tempted to fish- remember the phrase that has kept Las Vegas alive and well:

IN THE END- THE HOUSE ALWAYS WINS.

The Pain that Drives You to Look at Porn

How do you “check out” after a bad day?

What do you do when you feel angry? Anxious? Hurt?

We all have our ways of tuning out when life gets stressful. Watching action flicks, eating junk food, and running are what I default to. I would get so lost in watching T.V. that my wife wanted to throw the television out the window. Truth is, she should have done it.

After a long day at work Mike comes home to a stack of bills he can’t pay off, his wife is mad at him and he has no idea why, and a heaping helping of worthlessness to top it all off. Before reaching the front door Mike feels the weight of the world – followed by numbness.

Continue reading The Pain that Drives You to Look at Porn

4 Steps to Protecting Your Kids from Pornography: Heading Porn off at the Pass

Before going into four powerful ways to protect your kids from porn, let’s see how much you know about the current state of pornography. Answer true or false to each of the following stats. The answers, and more stats, are at the end of this blog.

__12% of internet sites are pornographic in nature
__35% of all internet searches are for porn (68 million per day)
__25% of all downloads are porn (1.5 billion per month)
__Average age of first exposure to internet porn is 11 (some studies show it is age 9)
__50% of pastors look at porn regularly
__1 in 3 porn viewers are women

These four steps come from my work each day with guys struggling to break free from the grips of sex and porn, and from what research tells us makes people vulnerable to pornography and other addictive behaviors.

Continue reading 4 Steps to Protecting Your Kids from Pornography: Heading Porn off at the Pass

Abstinence – Necessary, but not Sufficient

I work with a lot of guys who struggle with porn.  Unfortunately, most guys don’t call me simply because they want to quit.  Most guys are calling because they have been caught by their wife or employer, and are in a crisis.  Don’t get me wrong, crisis is a great motivator.  It clarifies what is most important – porn or marriage, porn or job.  I often recommend people pray for the perfect crisis for someone that keeps acting in self destructive ways.  It worked for the Prodigal Son.

Continue reading Abstinence – Necessary, but not Sufficient